Saya the teacher doesn’t mind being poked or pinched, or if the students play in class: She’s an android designed to show children that science and technology can be fun subjects, Reuters reports. Saya, a lifelike female who started her career as a robot receptionist at Japanese companies and was then reprogrammed to teach, gave a lesson to fifth-graders at Tokyo’s Kudan Elementary School after being carried to the podium. Professor Hiroshi Kobayashi of Tokyo University of Science, who built Saya, says she’s not meant to replace human teachers, just to highlight the joys of technology. But Saya may be able to help in schools where there is a shortage of teachers, he added. "In the countryside and in some small schools, there are children who do not have the opportunity to come into contact with new technology and also there are few teachers out there that can teach these lessons," Kobayashi said. "So we hope to be able to develop this robot so it can be remotely controlled to teach these classes." Many of the children were mesmerized by Saya, and did not take their eyes off her throughout the lecture…

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